Japan says vertigo probable cause of F-35A crash
Kyodo -- Jun 11
Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Monday the crash of an Air Self-Defense Force F-35A stealth fighter into the Pacific Ocean two months ago was likely caused by "spatial disorientation" of the pilot, rather than technical problems with the aircraft.

According to the Defense Ministry, there were no signs the 41-year-old pilot tried to eject. He is believed to have lost his bearings during an ASDF exercise just before the crash -- the first reported in the world for an F-35A.

Iwaya told a press conference he plans to lift the ban on flights by the remaining 12 F-35As, and that Japan will keep the plan to purchase more F-35As from the United States and deploy a total of 105.

He added the ministry is taking measures, such as special inspections of the remaining 12 F-35As at Misawa Air Base in the northeastern prefecture of Aomori, and rigorous training of pilots using special equipment so they can avoid losing their bearings.

News source: Kyodo
Aug 23
Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has summoned South Korea's ambassador and lodged a protest at Seoul's decision to end an intelligence-sharing agreement between the two countries. (NHK)
Aug 23
The US Department of Defense has expressed its "strong concern" and "disappointment" at South Korea's decision to terminate its intelligence-sharing pact with Japan. (NHK)
Aug 22
The South Korean government says it will not extend an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan. Bilateral relations are tense over issues including trade and wartime labor. (NHK)
Aug 22
Japan's two largest opposition parties said Tuesday they will form a joint group in both houses of the Diet in an attempt to challenge the ruling bloc's dominance. (Japan Today)
Aug 21
Immigration authorities revoked a record 832 visas in 2018, more than double the figure of a year earlier, Justice Ministry data showed Monday. (Japan Times)
Aug 16
Japan's new emperor spoke Thursday (Aug 15) of "deep remorse" over the country's wartime past, in his first speech to commemorate the end of World War II since his enthronement in May. (channelnewsasia.com)
Aug 16
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has skipped a visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine for war dead, but sent a ritual offering on the 74th anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender, a gesture likely to be criticised by Asian neighbours. (aljazeera.com)
Aug 12
South Korea says it plans to remove Japan from its top-tier list of countries subject to preferential export procedures. (NHK)
Aug 10
Japan's Air Self-Defense Force concludes that a fighter pilot who crashed off northern Japan in April failed to detect the jet's rapid descent because he was disoriented. (NHK)
Aug 09
Japan has approved the shipment of a hi-tech material to South Korea for the first time since enforcing stricter export controls. (NHK)